For the Living of These Days—A Word from Renee Purtlebaugh

These cold January days seem to drag on, and yet evaporate so incredibly quickly all at the same time. Having the courage to imagine the promise of the future in this barren, leaf-less, bitter cold is beyond challenging. And yet, February will arrive squarely on Friday.

I saw a meme recently that suggested February is the new January. After intense holiday seasons, packing our resolutions and new starts in January seems like a recipe for failure. It honestly just makes sense to give oneself a breather and some grace and begin anew in February. If the church were writing the meme, I wonder if we would have suggested that January is a Sabbath month or a month of renewal. Or as we have called it, a month of Courage for the Middle.

So now, as we are hopefully shored up with encouragement and warm memories of snow angels and sledding and hot chocolate, we take one step closer to spring. We move toward a congregational conversation with our Transition Team and Interim Facilitator that will bring increased clarity in our search for new leadership. Our ministry groups continue planning for ways to create a world where justice and love are abundant. We move toward the promise that the middle space will not last forever.

It will take some Courage to Imagine our way into this, as there are still wintry middle days to work through. But using these imagination muscles in the coming days will propel us forward, allowing us to wonder with flickers of excitement about what is to come, what will emerge, and where God will call us to go next.